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  #1  
Old 10-18-2011, 04:50 PM
F-DNS F-DNS is online now
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Scam and Fraud


How many times recently have threads been started with either of (or both) the words "scam" and "fraud" in the topic title?

Quite often these threads are started by people who have signed up specifically to "call out" a host for something that went wrong, and often it turns out that it was the customer's fault or misunderstanding (or even a malicious attempt to decieve or blackmail a host) rather than anything the host did to justify being called scammers or frauds.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting a bit sick of these threads - I even have a name for them... "Run to mummy threads" where, of course, WHT is big mamma

Ignoring my own irritation at these threads for a minute, they can have an immeasurable negative effect on the "victim" host's reputation, both here on WHT (by people who tend to read the start of a thread and say to themselves "Oh I'm not hosting with that bunch - They're con artists") and the wider Interweb as, with the huge popularity of WHT in search engines, these threads get indexed very quickly and feature in searches for hosts' names.

Is it fair that hosts can have their reputations damaged so easily by fly-by-night bad review posters, while the reviewers get away with it scot free... Often only coming to WHT to post a totally misleading and one-sided account of what actually happened in their relationship with a particular host, and then disappearing into the sunset never to post again?

I'd like to suggest that (at least) the words "scam" and "fraud" are added to the bad-word filter on WHT so that they can't be included in titles of new threads, and posters are obligated to start a thread with a title which is a bit more meaningful.

Your views would be appreciated

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  #2  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:08 PM
SeriesN SeriesN is offline
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I do agree with op but instead of making those word "BAD LISTED", why not we open up a review section and all post needs to be moderated. I know it means more work but would be useful.

  #3  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:18 PM
TBradley TBradley is offline
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Something needs to be done. I agree completely with the OP!

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  #4  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:18 PM
IMOG IMOG is offline
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I see your point, and think its a relevant topic.

I worry censoring those words is too much censorship, and too hard of a line to draw. In the real world, all sorts of people will say and think all sorts of things - if we limit that too much, maybe we look less credible or fake.

When researching things, I often include scam or fraud in my queries to dig dirt up on a business or service - its really helpful to find the negative word on the street.

But the conclusion I come to, as does any reasonable person I expect, comes from various places. Only a fool would make up their mind solely based off of some anonymous forum post. However, if I see a history of numerous forum posts alleging similar problems with the same service/product, that is something to give further thought. Often other members chime in to also lend their experience, or ask relevant questions which help frame the situation properly.

So while individual posts like this are annoying to us and others, and probably infuriating to the good guys who have their names smeared - a singular thread or post isn't a big deal on its own. And there are ways of addressing it for the good guys. In the end, good wins out.

Here's a relevant example. I am a pretty reputable person around the internet, but there's also the following article that says a lot of bad things about me. I don't really sweat that its out there, as its only one disgruntled persons account of what went on and I think it speaks for itself - readers will decide for themselves what it says about the person who wrote it, and what it says about me.

http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/a-best-web-connecticut-c435452.html

EDIT: This is just my personal 2 cents, not the official stance of anyone or WHT

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Last edited by IMOG; 10-18-2011 at 05:22 PM.
  #5  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:22 PM
F-DNS F-DNS is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeriesN View Post
I do agree with op but instead of making those word "BAD LISTED", why not we open up a review section and all post needs to be moderated. I know it means more work but would be useful.
Because it does mean more work for the mods, and it also brings an air of "suspicion" (particularly by newer members unfamiliar with WHT's "integrity") that something might be "going on" with their reviews before they're approved. I'm not trying to push toward a system of reviews being pre-approved before they appear, just encourage thread-starters to be a bit more honest and constructive with their thread titles.

And, to give an example of how quickly damage can be done to hosts, a Google search for "web host scam fraud" already has this thread on page 1! Imagine if you're a host and your company name replaces "web host" in that search

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There's no such thing as an unmanaged server - It's actually self-managed. Worth remembering next time you're looking for someone to complain to.
DATA VALUATION SERVICE: Your data's value is linked directly to your backup strategy. If YOU don't have your own backups then YOU value your data at ZERO. So why should anyone else care when you lose it?

  #6  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:33 PM
F-DNS F-DNS is online now
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Hi Matt,

Thanks for your reply. Just focusing on one part for now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMOG View Post
Often other members chime in to also lend their experience, or ask relevant questions which help frame the situation properly.
I totally agree (in fact, I've probably got a bit of a reputation for being a "chimer in" and shooting down "scam" reviews on here) but, to me, the damage is already done when you see others post "Have you seen how many bad reviews such-and-such host has?" when all they're drawing conclusions from is the number of times they've seen a thread titled "Host-Name scammers" and never bothered to read past the first couple of posts on what might be a 4 page thread that turns out completely differently.

Here's a current example (which triggered the idea for this thread): http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1091304

Is it honestly fair that that hosts name should be Google-indexed alongside the word "scammers" based on that thread's content?

Unfortunately, mud sticks

__________________
There's no such thing as an unmanaged server - It's actually self-managed. Worth remembering next time you're looking for someone to complain to.
DATA VALUATION SERVICE: Your data's value is linked directly to your backup strategy. If YOU don't have your own backups then YOU value your data at ZERO. So why should anyone else care when you lose it?

  #7  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:58 PM
IMOG IMOG is offline
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Good example. The members did a pretty good job chiming in there, and the hosting provider also spoke up to state their stance.

To answer your question, I'd agree that it isn't fair. The members and the host took notice and addressed it pretty well fortunately, as sometimes life isn't fair. I think that's the way things should work - if we were all in a room together and this was a discussion face to face, that's probably the way we would handle it.

I think the hard part of the problem you bring up is in trying to answer what else should be done. Censorship or meddling with threads gets tricky with being consistent and fair, as then the site would be the ones deciding on what is fair and what isn't - the people "behind the curtain" would make the determinations. Personally I especially like seeing the membership taking a healthy response in evaluating the situation and providing input - its real so I trust the insight from how the topic develops.

Interested to see what others think on the topic.

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  #8  
Old 10-18-2011, 06:30 PM
F-DNS F-DNS is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMOG View Post
if we were all in a room together and this was a discussion face to face, that's probably the way we would handle it.
Oh I love analogies

Problem is, we're not in a closed room together talking this out face to face. It's more akin to us being in a public bar, and to make matters worse the bar has webcams in all corners and is streaming a live feed of all conversations onto YouTube.

I don't want to post the name of any web host in this thread as it already hit page 1 of Google within 30 minutes of it being started (that's the YouTube feed getting picked up and watched already ) so let's use NOREPHOST and an example name.

So let's say there 6 of us having a drink and someone starts talking about NOREPHOST being a fraud and a scammer, although after a few minutes it was decided that that was actaully a pack of lies. Unfortunately the conversation got a bit heated at times and people in other parts of the bar (that didn't eavesdrop the entire conversation from start to finish) ask others what was going on "over there". Someone chimes in, "oh it's something about being ripped off by NOREPHOST, apparently they're scammers". That gets picked up by the webcams and streamed onto YouTube before anyone can pull the plug to stop it.

The person who started the accusation walks out of the pub, goes home, and never thinks about the conversation again. He's in the clear, but goodness knows how many people have "heard" NOREPHOST is a scammer and will never order from them. NOREPHOST can only count successful orders - They'll never be able to assess how many orders they lost through that conversation between 6 people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMOG View Post
Interested to see what others think on the topic.
Absolutely!

__________________
There's no such thing as an unmanaged server - It's actually self-managed. Worth remembering next time you're looking for someone to complain to.
DATA VALUATION SERVICE: Your data's value is linked directly to your backup strategy. If YOU don't have your own backups then YOU value your data at ZERO. So why should anyone else care when you lose it?

  #9  
Old 10-19-2011, 05:02 PM
VicToMeyeZR VicToMeyeZR is offline
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I think all forums that any reviews are posted should be a "no follow". This will eliminate the Google thing totally.

SCAM and FRAUD should be filtered for the title. I agree also with that.

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  #10  
Old 10-19-2011, 05:12 PM
Coolraul Coolraul is offline
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I am sorry but I had to quote one line of that post:

"Last time I was in school, posting twice is NOT considered multiple times & even if it was three times (I really don't think I did that), all they had to do was remove one of the posts."

Does this person truly believe that posting twice isn't a multiple or three times?

  #11  
Old 10-21-2011, 08:58 AM
F-DNS F-DNS is online now
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Another one today: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1092212

Already on Page 1 of Google

@Coolraul Did you post that to the right thread?

__________________
There's no such thing as an unmanaged server - It's actually self-managed. Worth remembering next time you're looking for someone to complain to.
DATA VALUATION SERVICE: Your data's value is linked directly to your backup strategy. If YOU don't have your own backups then YOU value your data at ZERO. So why should anyone else care when you lose it?

  #12  
Old 10-21-2011, 10:29 AM
cd/home cd/home is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBradley View Post
Something needs to be done. I agree completely with the OP!
I agree too, Am seeing several of these type of threads every week around here, Seems some people dont know the definition of words which they appear to use

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  #13  
Old 10-21-2011, 03:11 PM
IMOG IMOG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-DNS View Post
@Coolraul Did you post that to the right thread?
Like you, I didn't get it at first either. However the quote he pulled and is responding to is from the complaintsboard message I referenced. Bear was kind enough to set me straight, as I reported his post because I thought it may have been mistakenly posted in the wrong thread.

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  #14  
Old 10-21-2011, 03:14 PM
Coolraul Coolraul is offline
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I operate on levels far about mere mortals at times... You have to keep up son.

  #15  
Old 10-21-2011, 04:13 PM
F-DNS F-DNS is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
I operate on levels far about mere mortals at times... You have to keep up son.
Sorry... errrr... Pappa?

__________________
There's no such thing as an unmanaged server - It's actually self-managed. Worth remembering next time you're looking for someone to complain to.
DATA VALUATION SERVICE: Your data's value is linked directly to your backup strategy. If YOU don't have your own backups then YOU value your data at ZERO. So why should anyone else care when you lose it?

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